Filip Forsberg scored the decisive goal midway through the second period, and the Nashville Predators held on for a 4-2 win over the visiting Minnesota Wild on Monday night.
Craig Smith, Mattias Ekholm and Miikka Salomaki also scored for Nashville, while Ryan Johansen and P.K. Subban had two assists apiece. The Predators have won three games in a row and five of six to open the season.
Mikko Koivu notched a goal and an assist in a losing effort for the Wild. Matt Dumba also scored for Minnesota, which remains in search of its first win in regulation time.
Pekka Rinne stopped 29 of 31 shots to improve to 3-1-0. It was the 314th career win for Rinne, who has played with Nashville for each of his 13 seasons in the NHL.
Wild goaltender Alex Stalock stopped 24 of 27 shots to lose in his first appearance of the season. He played to give a rest to Devan Dubnyk, who made the first four starts of the season.
Nashville opened the scoring on the power play 6:01 into the first period. Subban fired a shot from the blue line that was denied, but Smith quickly located the rebound and punched in a backhanded shot for his second goal.
Minnesota pulled even on a power-play goal by Dumba later in the first period. He buried a slap shot from the slot.
The Predators took a 3-1 lead after goals by Ekholm and Forsberg in the second period. Johansen carried the puck into the offensive zone to set up Ekholm’s goal. Forsberg scored on a breakaway as he lifted a shot above Stalock’s left shoulder for his fourth goal in six games.
The Wild cut the deficit to 3-2 with 4:57 remaining in the second period. Mikael Granlund slid a pass in front of the crease for Koivu, whose one-timer beat Rinne for his first goal of the season and the 194th of his 14-year career.
Salomaki sealed the outcome with an empty-net goal in the final minute. It marked his first goal of the season. Subban picked up a primary assist on the play.
—Field Level Media